Saturday, March 19, 2011
Ballard Cheers for Charter Schools
Mayor Greg Ballard today put out a Facebook update which praised the basketball Indianapolis Metropolitan Pumas for being the "First charter school ever to go to the finals." He's wrong. Indy Met is the second charter school to go to the Class A State Finals. The first was last year's Class A Champ, Bowman Academy.
Did I mention Indy Met was actually chartered by Bart Peterson?
Let me join the Mayor in congratulating the Pumas on making it to the finals. I, in no way, mean to diminish the work and effort that these young people put in to reach this level. The Pumas don't have a home gym, and I realize that. Please don't misunderstand me when I say this.
The thing is that at no point, to my knowledge, has Mayor Ballard ever congratulated a traditional public school for making a title game in this manner on Facebook since I've been a follower. Also, the Mayor should know that when the graduation rates for the class of 2010 were calculated, the rate for African-Americans at Indy Met was 56.5 percent. By contrast, Pike High School had a graduation rate of 89.5 percent. Ben Davis was at 86.3 percent. Speedway, which has a much smaller cohort group, had a 100 percent graduation rate.
The only charters, in fact, to come close to those numbers were Tindley and Herron, and neither were close to what Speedway or Pike have done, and only Herron rivaled (but not surpassed) Ben Davis. Met was at the bottom of the heap. Nonetheless, Ballard gave Indy Met a full seven year stamp of approval.
Maybe Mayor Ballard is starting a new trend. Next time a public school team from Marion County is involved in a contest like this, I expect to see him tout the accomplishment from his official Mayor Ballard Facebook account.
And...good luck to the Pumas!